When Laura and I set out for this trip we planned a few critical parts... heat, water, food. We knew that we couldn't carry them all for the whole trip so below are our tactics to solve the problems.
In terms of food for the trip we planned to carry emergency food that would be enough for 3 days. This is in case of storms or mechanical break downs. The emergency food comprises of chicken feet, weirdly packaged fish, some pickled vegetables, rice and pasta. The idea behind these weird and wonderful delicacies is that it should be stuff that we don't really want to eat, meaning we won't eat it accidentally while hungry, it will also entice us to carry enough food or find some quickly. With our normal food we make sure we have enough for the distance between town to town, which usually means carrying another 2-3 days of food.
We knew that we also couldn't carry enough water so we planned to always stop and camp by lakes and streams. Then we would boil water and carry some with us in flasks too.
The last thing was fuel. We decided to buy multi fuel stoves back in Hong Kong. This is the type that you can use both gas and petrol with. We did this so that we had lots of freedom in terms of what we can use to burn. Between us we had 5 canisters of gas knowing that we would need to fill up along the way.
This is where the plan goes tits up... due to an unforeseen issue that we don't truly understand. I will try and give you the basic outline...
All of the fuel stations in this province of China have security at them. When the locals fill up their cars they have to go through a few processes. First, all of the passengers must get out of the car, then the security search the car and open every door. After they are happy, the driver must swipe a fuel card (that Laura and I don't have) before eventually being allowed to fill up with fuel.
We have tried our best puppy dog eyes to try and get some petrol but the security guards are having none of it.
Without petrol we can't heat up ice to get water and we can't cook food either.
You might be thinking to your self "why don't you just buy gas or white spirit and carry it with you". Unfortunately it's not that easy to get hold of, and almost every main road has police checks along it. Depending on the traffic controllers' mood, they would happily take any gas or fuel away from you meaning we would be stranded with no fuel.
Until we solve this problem, we are stuck in a lovely warm hotel room... so it's not all bad.